SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WTOC) - If you know James Carlson, you know he isn’t afraid of taking a risk.
“When we started, a lot of people though I was a little crazy to do the Walt’s building and take on a project that big,” said Carlson.
But as we now know, the risk was worth it. Although to James it was never really a risk.
“Springfield is growing. I had a hundred percent faith in Springfield.”
So much faith that he’s taken on a few more projects. One right next door to the old Walt’s Furniture Building.
“We have a project, the old service station, that we’re finishing up within the next 60 days, we look to finish up. With that being said we’ll be bringing two new businesses to Springfield.”
Filling the old service station will be Wright Wicks Candle Company and a fitness studio called “Studio Extreme” which will offer space for things like dance, yoga and Zumba.
But that’s not the only property on James’ list.
James hopes the now vacant “Co-op Building” property will house five offices and two retail spaces, bringing seven new tenants to town when completed in early 2022.
But perhaps the most exciting addition to downtown.
“Local on Laurel will now become a full-service restaurant,” said Carlson.
For this project, James has teamed up with Amy Moore, the owner of the Simply Southern Restaurant and her son Brice.
“As soon as James heard that we were looking for somewhere he was all over it,” said Brice.
The restaurant, which will be called The Iron Exchange, will offer steak and seafood options.
Something both James and Moore saw as a need in Springfield. Sharing a vision and a hope.
“I think it’s going to do really well. Even hearing from different people, people throughout the city, people helping us work on it, they keep saying really great things,” said Brice Moore.
The Iron Exchange should be open by early August. Another addition to a town now seemingly bursting with life and potential.
“It’s been rewarding to see people actually get out and shop and they can buy shop and eat and enjoy, and they’re buying local which is important to me,” said Carlson.
According to Carlson, even though the Local on Laurel will now be a restaurant they will also still remain as an event venue as well.